Bethany has been inviting me to come see him at her Pack to Basics class ever since I dropped him off and surrendered him to her in early December. Today, I did.
Walking toward her backyard from the street, I could see him, leashed up with the little leader muzzle. He took my breath away. I led Pooka in. And there he was.
He wagged his tail, looking at Pooka. Everyone was standing in a circle, with their dogs leashed. There were about a dozen dogs, from tiny Westies to a huge Newfoundland (still a pup with lots of growth to go). We took our place in the circle. He was looking toward us, wagging his tail. The aim of this class is to let dogs socialize. The instructions were simple: don’t talk to the dogs, don’t touch the dogs, and keep walking around the yard. She then gave me some instructions: don’t talk to him or touch him until after the class.
We let the dogs off the leash and started walking around.
He walked around, wagging his tail and sniffing other dogs. Someone said, “is that the dog that usually just hides?” Bethany said yes, he was, and that his former owner was there. Apparently he was behaving very differently. Much more social.
He went and hid under the deck for a while. And then he came out.
And ran straight toward me. He started jumping on me. I kept walking. This was the hardest part. I wanted to pet him, to talk to him, but kept going. He played with Pooka! He played with other dogs. He seemed totally great.
I met his new mom and talked with her a bit. She is so sweet, and they are perfect for each other. I felt then that he really needs to be in a situation like this — with one person. He was so threatened by Tyler and his kids. He tried to fight his way to dominance of our whole situation, but it wasn’t working, so he did what he thought he had to. He tried to take them down.
I really hope that he doesn’t feel the need to do that with Trudy.
He followed me around most of the rest of the class. I kept walking. It wasn’t until afterward that I got to pet him and give him a little love.
And then we walked out, and didn’t look back.
I felt a huge sense of relief. He’s happy, he’s safe, he’s well cared for. And he’s adjusting fine. And it’s time for me to move on.
Here’s a video of him following me and playing with Pooka:
Gogo’s new mom called me today to ask me this question, so that if he did, she could change the info. You know, so if he ever gets lost, runs away, etc., he will be returned to her, not me. No, he didn’t have one of those microchips. Does that mean I didn’t love him enough?
Here’s one last video of him that shows more of that “look of love.” And then he moves on. Goodbye Gogo. I love you, little munchkin. Little Mister. Pumpkinhead. You belong to someone else now.
Do I really have the courage to see him Saturday at Pack to Basics? I’ll let you know.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: abuse, gogo, Kyle MacLachlan, love, mookie and sam
I managed to stay in bed until noon, lounging around reading fashion porn (Elle). Lusting after an $1,800 Holly Golightly sort of skirt and Marni tights (only $130!), wanting to escape to a warm grassy field where i could lie on my back and feel the damp coolness below balance out the heat from above, and wondering if my soon-to-be-born Etsy page will launch a new fashion career… Then I get to the back page of the August issue (Ok, I’m a little behind). In an interview with Kyle MacLachlan (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, Sex and the City…) he is asked about his dogs. He and his wife have two cute little doggies, Mookie and Sam, who have their own web site, who star in their own show and in short films. (http://www.mookieandsam.com/) They are very cute. The interviewer says to them:
“If you were told today that God was going to strike down either your two dogs or some woman in a movie wardrobe department whom you’d spoken to only a couple of times, which would you choose?
KM: Oh, the woman in wardrobe, absolutely. Oh, yeah. We love those dogs too much.
The interviewer goes on: “Would you sacrifice Mookie and Sam or your unborn child’s toe?
KM: Wow. There’s nine other toes, right? He’ll have nine toes.
How witty. Charming. I totally get the sentiment. He loves his dogs and can’t imagine anything else mattering more. Oh, how nice it would be if I only had to decide between a baby toe and Gogo.
But I think even a baby toe would be too much to sacrifice.
Sometimes you just have to accept that something is not what you want it to be. Living with Gogo was like having an abusive partner (and I’ve had them, so I know). Most of the time, he was sweet and loving. Actually, most of the time, he was sleeping. Do dogs sleep 22 hours a day?
Every morning I woke up to him licking my face. He was overjoyed whenever I walked in the door — I’d kneel down, and he’d put his paws on my shoulder and lick and lick every inch of my face with a manic sort of energy. He looked at me like he adored me. Even if someone else was petting him, he would be looking at me.
But suddenly, without warning, the fangs would show. His growling and intimidation were jarring, like a slap, or like an angry shout. Women who live with physical or verbal abusers are always on edge. You get used to it. You get angry when the abuse happens, because each time it does, you hope that will be the last time, but it never is. That anger gets you thinking about what to do about the abuse, but the anger passes, and the abuser slips back into his saner self.